Duomo (多麼鬆餅+) was originally founded in 2010 near Shida Night Market as a dessert shop specializing in waffles. Last year, it moved to a two-story building in a lane off Anhe Road and reopened as a cafe and restaurant. Though it is located near trendy restaurants and nightspots, Duomo seems worlds away.
The ground floor has cool terrazzo flooring, a sunny patio and a long, wooden bar where waffles are cooked in front of customers. A flight of stairs leads to a sunny second floor, where you can glimpse a neighboring house’s slate roof through wide picture windows. It is furnished in a mix of industrial and mid-century modern style furniture, including a set of comfy armchairs. Shelves stocked with design and architecture magazines invite visitors to stay a while to read, sip a hot drink and tuck into a plate of waffles.
One of the tastiest topping combinations is wild honey and lemon custard. The freshly made custard has just a bit of a citrus tang and spreads easily into the waffle’s deep square pockets. Another option sure to please sweet tooths is the chocolate and banana waffle, served with fruit cut into dainty slices and a scoop of ice cream drizzled with plenty of chocolate syrup. The apple and cinnamon waffle, another tempting option, comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and slices of stewed apples in cinnamon syrup. All waffles are served two to a plate for NT$150.
In addition to its signature waffles, Duomo also offers a range of savory dishes that are much more delicious and bountiful than regular cafe fare. Take their bacon toast lunch platter (NT$260) for example. Thick, juicy slices of bacon, perfectly crispy at the edges, are wrapped around buttery toasted French bread. It is plated alongside salad topped with a tangy mustard vinaigrette dressing, grilled asparagus sauteed mushrooms, baby potatoes and a boiled egg with a soft yolk ideal for spreading on top of the toast. The platter is decadent, filling and lovingly presented.
Address: 16, Ln 217, Anhe Rd Sec 2, Taipei City (台北市安和路二段217巷16號)
Telephone: (02) 2733-0009
Open: Monday to Thursday 11:30am to 1am, Friday 11:30am to 3am, Saturday 10am to 3am and Sunday 11:30am to 1am
Average meal: NT$300
Details: English and Chinese menus; cash only
Duomo’s pasta dishes, available during dinnertime, are also good. The shrimp and pesto pasta was made with plenty of chili, which made the dish unexpectedly spicy and complemented the sweetness of the basil and shellfish. Even the soup Duomo serves with set meals is better than the watery, lukewarm versions in other cafes. On my recent visits, the soup was a thick, creamy pumpkin accompanied by bread drizzled in a mix of tart balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Duomo’s attention to detail also extends to its drink menu. In addition to teas and coffees (NT$150 to NT$180), it also offers sorbet smoothies (NT$180) made with plenty of fruit and classic cocktails like Long Island iced tea and gin and tonics. Beers include Floris, Delirium Tremens and Erdinger (NT$180 to NT$200).